No two divorces are exactly the same, but couples who have a large number
of assets often face similar issues as they go through the divorce process.
Having a high net-worth can certainly have its advantages, but when it
comes to divorce, your assets could make things much more difficult for
you. With more properties and more valuable accounts and investments,
it may be challenging for you to find a fair way to divide your assets
with your spouse.
High net-worth divorces often take longer because they are more complex
and have more assets to divide. On top of that, your spouse might try
to hide certain assets or cheat you out of some funds or properties. Because
you have more assets to watch over, there are certain things you should
do to ready yourself for the divorce process. If you are about to go through
a high net-worth divorce, make sure you know how to prepare and protect
Evaluate Your Finances
Immediately after you and your spouse decide to divorce, you should take
stock of your financial situation. At the start of the divorce, you and
your spouse will be responsible for presenting the court with a formal
document citing all of your assets. The court will evaluate your accounts,
investments, properties, and other assets, determine which assets are
subject to division, and move forward from there.
You will also need to keep a file of all important documents, including
tax documents, property deeds, account information, investment documents,
business records, credit card statements, and anything else pertaining
to your finances.
Some individuals choose to look over their accounts themselves, but if
you have a large number of assets, it might be best to work with a professional
accountant or financial advisor. With professional help, it would be easier
for you to carry on with your daily life without having to worry about
overlooking any assets when building your financial report.
Seek Financial Independence
Before you make any big moves, make sure you have your own accounts separate
from those of your spouse. By creating your own accounts, you prevent
your spouse from tampering with your accounts or clearing out your spending
money as some form of revenge. To avoid this, it’s best to create
your own private checking and savings accounts accessible only by you.
By separating your accounts, you also protect your privacy. Dipping into
shared accounts could alert your spouse to your spending habits, which
they might try to use against you in court.
Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets?
Hiding assets from the court in your divorce is never a good idea. Even
though you might be tempted to hold on to certain assets you believe are
rightfully yours, attempting to hide those assets could have serious legal
repercussion. The financial document you present before the court is binding,
so lying in that document could find you in contempt of court.
If your spouse is hiding assets, on the other hand, their attempt to retain
certain properties and funds could wind up robbing you of assets that
might otherwise be yours. Sometimes spouses attempt to hide assets by
withdrawing funds and hiding them where their spouse won’t find
them, or by signing over certain assets to friends and relatives so that
they can no longer be subject to division in a divorce. In any case, if
you suspect your spouse is hiding assets from you, make sure you speak
to your attorney about your concerns. An experienced high-asset divorce
attorney can refer you to a forensic accountant or other financial expert
who can help find any hidden assets for you.
Prepare for Property Division
Dividing the marital property is always a difficult aspect of divorce,
but it can be particularly challenging and extensive for couples with
a high net-worth. Couples with more assets have more to divide, which
means this step can take much longer, be much more stressful, and may
be more contentious. In order to make this part of your divorce easier,
make sure you consider your priorities ahead of time. Think about which
assets are essential to you and discuss those priorities with your attorney.
The more your lawyer knows about your concerns, the easier it will be
to represent your best interest during negotiations.
Dealing with a high-asset divorce can be extremely stressful, which is
why it is so important to work with an experienced attorney who knows
precisely how to support your case. Our Yonkers family lawyer is prepared
to help with all aspects of your divorce, from spousal support to child custody.
Contact The Law Firm of Wayne F. Crowe, Jr., P.C. to discuss your divorce with our Yonkers family lawyer.